ELLIJAY, Ga. – Attempting to set details down as they move through the three month process, the county discussed details and plans for the first reader of their change to the alcohol ordinance allowing for the sale of beer and wine at the county’s golf course.
To the best of his knowledge, Golf Course Manager Mike Brumby has previously said that Gilmer was the only one he knew that still doesn’t sell drinks in the lodge.
But that is set to change in the coming months as the commissioners spoke about signage, management, and allowances during a special called meeting before the December First Reading.
The Golf Course will likely have something inside the shop showing prices for drinks, but Chairman Charlie Paris said he did not want any advertisements of the alcohol outside the building. The ordinance, according to County Attorney David Clark, will allow them to put signage as the wish. Clark also noted that the golf course is likely to require its own license and “point of contact,” meaning someone responsible for the operation.
Paris asserted that he wanted the operation to basically allow for the sale when people ask without making any major notice or advertisements anywhere. Brumby has also started looking at other courses in their management of alcohol sales and advertisements as well, according to Post 2 Commissioner Karleen Ferguson.
Another note brought up in the meeting came as Post 1 Commissioner Hubert Parker publicly noted that the county deleted something in its changes removing requirements regarding state roads.
Clark stated, “The reason that was deleted is that there may be other facilities in the county that may qualify from the distance requirements that aren’t necessarily located on state roads. Nothing in particular at this point in time, but it’s just that that’s been a bone of contention with some of these [stores].”
Parker replied, “I’m just saying, we are opening it up… We have to recognize that. That’s all I’m saying.”
Paris noted that many places not on state roads have licenses as they were “grandfathered in.”
Parker replied, “The current policy is anti-competitive. I agree.” He said that his approach understanding the anti-competitive nature is that the county was trying to keep from being anti-competitive.
The board also discussed adding allowances for special use permits for events in area such as River Park. However, upon discussing details for an idea like a “Wine Walk” allowing local vineyards, each of the commissioners agreed that they wanted to address changes to the ordinance in steps and not add any additional ideas along with the Golf Course. As per the specific location of River Park, some debate came from who owns or leases different areas of the park. Ultimately, the board didn’t go into depth on the idea as they decided to focus on the Golf Course now and address other ideas separately.